Featured Restaurant: Julliano’s Brick Oven Pizza in Laytonsville, Maryland
In my vast travels through my hometown state of Maryland, nothing catches my eye more than these three words in succession, “Brick Oven Pizza”. Driving up Rt. 108 on a lazy Saturday afternoon, Julliano’s Brick Oven Pizza was all I needed to see to make a stop at this oasis of a strip mall. There is really nothing to find around this part of Rt.108 except for some farm land, some golf courses and a scattering of houses. You won’t encounter much in this quiet, drive-through town, and the nearby cities of Gaithersburg and Olney can be looked at as bustling metropolises next to Laytonsville. OK, enough with the geography-speak and back to the pizza place. In all honesty, I’ve had my eye on this place for months before I got the nerve to actually stop. My grub-radar locked down on it from the first moment I drove passed. Like I said before, the words “Brick Oven Pizza”, made it so. On this day, I made the stop and I’m happy I did.
Now before we get the pizza snobs look down on me for my excitement, just know that we’re talking Laytonsville, Maryland not New York City. Julliano’s is as non-descript as they come. This place doesn’t even have a website so I’m guessing they stay in business by local word of mouth. Julliano’s seats roughly 50 or so and the place was only a quarter full on this particular Saturday lunch time. Friendly wait staff and a clean, bright restaurant earned bonus points with me right from the start. The menu consists of salads, pastas, brick oven pizza, stromboli, calzones and a few Italian desserts. Pizza is the main focus here and a 10″ pie starts at $10.00 and $1.50 for each topping. Specialty pizzas come with varied prices.
I went with a friend and we split what I consider to be some of the best Spinach Artichoke Dip ($7.00) I’ve had in a while. I think I deserve the right to know my spinach artichoke dip because I seem to order it at every restaurant that has it on their appetizer/starter menu. A lot of restaurants serve their dip with chips. Julliano’s served up their dip with small toasted and buttered slices of Italian bread sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. I would eat this toast alone for sure but of course there is the dip. This was fresh stuff and not overly cheesy. A delicious blend of spinach and diced artichoke hearts served hot and garnished with a little shaved Parmesan. Wow this stuff was good.
For our main lunch orders, my friend went with the Spinach Calzone ($8.00) and I went with the Small Pizza Supreme ($13.00). From the looks of the Spinach Calzone, I could see the same delicious blend of spinach and cheeses that I found in the starter dip. I grew a little jealous. The calzone features freshly made dough stuffed with fresh spinach, red onions, ricotta, mozzarella cheese and Italian spices.
My 10″ Pizza Supreme was a delightful brick oven pizza that I felt guilty not sharing. I had to give up a slice to my lunch partner since I’m such a sweet guy (just don’t get used to it). I could’ve downed this pizza all by myself but I figured why be a complete glutton when a little dessert would soon follow. The Pizza Supreme featured a bold tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions and green peppers. I watched the giant brick oven from across the dining area as it housed my lunch in it’s toasty warm embrace. When it came to my table my olfactory system stood and applauded. Not too hard on the eyes either. Go ahead and stare. A nice, crisp pizza crust was the bed for the hot toppings but my only issue was toward the center of the pie. You know when the farther you go into the center of a pizza, the limper the crust gets? That was a bit of an issue but seemed to get better as I ate. Maybe I just couldn’t wait for it to cool down enough. I felt $13.00 was steep for a 10″ pizza but it’s a comparable price to other pizza joints in Maryland so I was OK with it.
Tough to think about dessert after the dip and pizza so something small might be a nice way to end the lunch. Going with a Cannoli ($5.00) was a solid choice. An Italian pastry shell filled with a sweet cream filling and dusted with powdered sugar. The pastry shell even had some chocolate in the mix. Served slightly chilled.
I recommend Julliano’s to those local to the area. I feel it’s a worthy choice for a nice change from the chains. I hope that next time I stop by Julliano’s, their menu is updated with a few more specialty pizzas. I’d love to try a BBQ Chicken pizza from this place. A $36.00 subtotal for a quiet but delicious lunch won’t be a common thing for me, but it’s hard to put a price tag on satisfaction.
- Recommendations: Spinach Artichoke Dip, Brick Oven Pizza
- Food: 8.50/10
- Menu Variety: 7.00/10
- Atmosphere: Sit down/Family/Casual
- Price: $-Moderate=$7.01-$14
- GrubGrade: 8.25/10 (Very Good)
Check them out:
Julliano’s Brick Oven Pizza
6840 Olney Laytonsville Road